A summer COVID-19 wave may have already crested in Illinois. [Health News Illinois]
Dr. Arti Barnes, chief medical officer for the Department of Public Health, told officials late last week that hospital admissions for COVID-19 are falling, and that while pediatric intensive care unit capacity is down, it’s not being driven by COVID-19.
“I'm not going to go as far as to say that we're not going to see another second wave coming up deeper into the winter, but at least it looks like this is one slightly reassuring piece of news,” Barnes said at a State Board of Health meeting.
Low takeup of COVID-19 booster shots this fall, coupled with inequitable access to treatments, could lead to a higher rate of hospitalizations for high-risk groups, according to Barnes. But, she expects that the booster shots will be effective against the mix of variants they’ve recently seen in Illinois.
“No one variant is dominating any more in this new COVID era,” Barnes said. “Which, again, means we're heading towards endemicity to some part.”
Meanwhile, Barnes is hopeful that new vaccines and treatments will mitigate respiratory syncytial virus cases this fall and that the flu season will be more moderate than last year, based on a gentler and faster than expected peak in the Southern Hemisphere.
“Of course, you know all predictions come back to bite you, so hopefully this will hold true,” she said.